News of: Saturday, 23rd of February, 2008
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A new organogram for Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Ltd has been prepared abolishing about 200 posts of meter readers and supervisors following discovery of large-scale corruption in the organisation.
Pakistan's two biggest opposition parties sought to thrash out their choice for premier yesterday after agreeing to form a coalition government that could drive President Pervez Musharraf from power.
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday said the Election Commission (EC) is absolutely neutral and there is no reason for it to favour any particular party.
A number of unscrupulous poultry sellers in city markets have been putting members of the public at risk of avian flu infection by selling slaughtered sick chickens at low prices.
Forty-two artefacts from Bangladesh sent to Paris for an exhibition at Guimet Museum are being brought back today.
The country's edible oil market has been destabilised for a long time now, causing immense sufferings to consumers, since there is no official regulation controlling prices of the essential commodity.
Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board (BTTB) signed a Tk 18 crore deal with Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB) on Wednesday for installation of a back-up optical fibre network between Dhaka and Cox's Bazar to ensure better access to the submarine cable system.
The caretaker government should take initiatives immediately for land reforms, recovery of khas land from grabbers and establishment of rights of the landless people, said economists and experts on land related issues yesterday.
Awami League (AL) will demand announcement of a date for the next general election at the second-round talks with the Election Commission (EC) scheduled to begin Monday.
As Indo-Bangladesh Bangla Games got off to a gala start here yesterday, Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed hoped such camaraderie in the sporting arena will also help expand relations in other areas between Bangladesh and India.
During his six-day visit to India from February 25, Bangladesh Army Chief Gen Moeen U Ahmed will get a unique present--a set of six horses, two of them Hanoverian stallion and four mares--from his Indian counterpart Gen Deepak Kapoor at a spectacular ceremony.
Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful said before the first Test against South Africa that his bowlers have the ability to take twenty wickets but the batting remains a headache.
The world super power has now decided to respect the wishes of Pakistani voters expressed on February 18 polls.
Hillary Rodham Clinton accused presidential rival Barack Obama of political plagiarism Thursday night, but drew boos from a Democratic debate audience when she ridiculed him as the candidate of "change you can Xerox."
Visiting Canadian lawyer William Sloan could not hold the press conference he planned for yesterday after the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel had cancelled his hall room booking.
A Venezuelan airliner that went missing with 46 people on board apparently crashed in the Venezuelan Andes, a regional civil defence official told AFP, citing witnesses in the area.
Voter registration and work for preparation of national identity cards began in the Bangladeshi enclave of Dahagram Angorpota of Patgram upazila in Lalmonirhat yesterday.
Indian Border Security Force (BSF) shot dead a Bangladeshi cattle trader at Gunarajpur border village under North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal early yesterday.
Coastguard members yesterday seized about 70 maunds of Hilsa fry in separate drives in Narayanganj and Chandpur.
The Jorbangla temple, built in early 17th century at Kalachandpara village in Pabna, is in ruins due to negligence of the authorities, said sources at the Department of Archaeology.
Around 14,000 chickens of four poultry farms in Savar municipal area were culled yesterday after detection of avian influenza at a farm.
Popular writer, dramatist, novelist and journalist Anisul Huq was seriously injured in a road accident in the city's Shahbagh area yesterday.
A roadside bomb ripped through cars carrying wedding guests in northwestern Pakistan yesterday, killing at least 13 people including the bride and wounding a dozen others, police said.
The national flag carrier, Bangladesh Biman, nose-diving through years of mismanagement and corruption, its reconstituted incarnation will take a long time in paying dividends. The market size of passengers, estimated to be around Tk 3500 crore, is only touched on the fringes by our airlines. In this context, we are heartened to note that the private airlines of Bangladesh are growing at par with the global aviation industry's annual growth rate of 7.6 percent. Largely operating on the domestic routes with limited fleet strength, the 7-8 percent growth rate is quite a success story. Imagine what it could be like if airlines of Bangladesh origin could develop adequately to claim a greater share of the aviation market!
We express our deepest condolence at the death of 14 people in a road accident on their way to attend a picnic party at Cox's Bazar. The tragedy to occur while the workers were out to enjoy a holiday on the occasion of International Mother Language Day is heartrending indeed. The accident took place when the bus carrying about 50 garment workers from Chittagong met with a head on collision with a truck and hit a roadside electric pole. The live wire fell on the bus and set it on fire.
It was most interesting to read in the media that the government is planning to set up four more economic zones (EZs) in the country aimed at attracting greater domestic and foreign direct investment and fostering economic growth. The World Bank has apparently sponsored this latest plan. Under this concept the Comilla EPZ and the Hi-Tech Park for information technology in Kaliakoir under Gazipur district will be transformed into economic zones. It has subsequently been also revealed that the government has decided to establish two new Export Processing Zones (EPZs) -- the Meghna Export Processing Zone at Gazaria in Munshiganj and the Feni Export Processing Zone at Feni.
I do not rule out rigging in the Pakistan election. My belief is that the seats the Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid), the King's party, and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement have won are far more than their hold or stock in the country suggests. The combined strength of the Pakistan People's Party (87) and the Nawaz Sharif's Muslim League (66) is far less than their popularity. The two should have got two-thirds majority in the National Assembly while they have secured 153.
At this moment all including professionals, intellectuals, elite, specialists have the same question on their lips: “will the prices of food stuff come down”. Simultaneously all seek a consolation by referring to the fact that the present CTG has achieved a lot of successes, so it may be able to contain the price hike of foodstuff, too. The most common doctrine of economics is “when supply goes up in relation to demand, the price decreases and vice versa.” It is not necessary to become an economist to understand this doctrine. It may be mentioned that in mid 2006 the price of sugar was Tk 65 per kg, but it came down to Tk 25 per kg in the 1st quarter of 2007. It happened so because at that time despite hundreds of tons of sugar lying in the godowns of the local sugar mills, more sugar arrived from India through import or smuggling. This was clearly a game of demand and supply. I believe currently the price hike of foodstuff is also the same game though there may be some hoarding and profiteering motive, but that would be automatically eliminated if the supply goes up substantially.
The Bangladesh batsmen's estimation of what they would achieve ended up being nowhere in the ballpark as they descended into an all too familiar capitulation on the first day of the first Test against South Africa yesterday.
Captain Suharwardi Shuvo salvaged, inspired and ran ragged to help Bangladesh clinch a 13-run win over England yesterday in the ICC Under-19 World Cup at the Royal Selangor Club ground in Kuala Lumpur.
The 2nd Indo-Bangladesh Bangla Games got off to a colourless start at the Banga-bandhu Natio-nal Stadium yesterday, frustrating the moderate holiday crowd who had expected a grand exhibition.
Famous Jamaican umpire Steve Bucknor is in his elements again. This time it was Mohammad Rafique, who fell in his trap of oversight, misjudgement, the dreaded nod and yes, that slow, camera-hogging raised index finger.
Competitions in all nine disciplines of the 2nd Indo-Bangladesh Bangla Games will start today in Dhaka and outside the capital.
The 11th South Asian (SA) Games will be held in Dhaka during winter next year, it was decided at a meeting of the South Asia Olympic Council (SAOC) yesterday.
Australia booked their place in the tri-series finals with a 24-run win over Sri Lanka in a rain-affected one-day match here on Friday.
England have their tails up going into the one-day cricket international showdown against New Zealand here Saturday as they look to square the series in what promises to be a high-scoring spectacle.
Australia secured their place in the CB Series finals with their win over Sri Lanka but the match was another one Ricky Ponting will want to wipe from his personal highlights reel. Ponting managed 11 from 34 balls to take his tournament tally to 64 at 10.66 and he even found a new way to sabotage himself, run out when he tried to take a single after hitting the ball back to the bowler.
Fabio Capello has warned England's stars they must adapt to his tactical demands if they want to succeed with the national team.
Concerned over long-term effects of Indian Premier League's money power, Australian captain Ricky Ponting has blamed the International Cricket Council for not acting in time to develop the Twenty20 format to its potential and trying to put lid on it.
BCCI president Sharad Pawar yesterday said he avoided poking his nose into each and everything in the cricket administration.
The final phase of the 29th Aromatic Gold National Women's Chess Championship, organised by Bangladesh Chess Federation, began yesterday at the Chess Federation hall-room.
Lalmatia Club snatched a dramatic one-run win over Wanderers Club in the First Division Cricket League at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium yesterday.
Rahul Dravid has said that he was happy with the players the Bangalore franchise had procured in the IPL auction, adding that his side had the players who can handle pressure.
India captain Virat Kohli struck a century on a day dominated by bowlers to eliminate the West Indies from cricket's under-19 World Cup on Friday.
Bayern Munich led a quartet of German clubs into the last 16 of the UEFA Cup when the competition favourites thumped Aberdeen 5-1 on Thursday.
Nemanja Vidic believes Manchester United's superior strength in depth will help his side overhaul Arsenal in the race for the Premier League title.
If anything can halt Inter Milan's seemingly insatiable title charge this season it seems that injuries might be their trickiest stumbling block.
Modest Getafe have been a thorn in the side of Real Madrid in recent meetings and they have the chance to be a nuisance again when they visit the leaders in the Primera Liga on Sunday.
Bayern Munich captain Oliver Kahn has warned Hamburg his side are approaching top form ahead of their Bundesliga clash at the Allianz Arena on Sunday.
Three-time FIFA player of the year Ronaldo is unsure whether he will be able to continue playing after rupturing a tendon in his left knee.
Sir Alex Ferguson believes Wes Brown's decision to reject Manchester United's new contract offer is typical of the way top players let agents run their lives.
UEFA Cup last 16 line-up after the completion of the round of 32 on Thursday:
Bayern Munich coach Ottmar Hitzfeld admitted he was happy to make full use of his squad as his side eased their way into the UEFA Cup's last 16 with a 5-1 win over Aberdeen here Thursday.
Spain coach Luis Aragones and Raul joined forces on Thursday to call for an end to the debate over whether the Real Madrid striker should be included in the national squad ahead of Euro 2008.
England manager Fabio Capello has warned Liverpool not to think they have sewn up qualification for the Champions League quarterfinals after beating Inter Milan 2-0 at home on Tuesday.
Iron foundries in Bogra district face closure in the wake of price hike of raw materials, industry people have said.
Sugar prices increased by Tk 7 a kg in retail markets in one week in Rajshahi region after the government on Monday stopped selling sugar from eight mills in northern region.
The annual Chittagong International Trade Fair (CITF) that began on Tuesday on Polo Ground here was yet to gain momentum yesterday, the weekly holiday, as many stalls were under construction.
The Philippines' unusual plea for Hanoi to guarantee rice supplies is the clearest sign of a growing global anxiety over how nations will feed their people.
The government will prepare the next budget in consultation with stakeholders, National Board of Revenue (NBR) Chairman Abdul Mazid said on Thursday.
Benapole Customs House earned 9.75 percent more revenue during the first six months of the current fiscal year from the strategic target of Tk 664.20 crore, sources said.
Not willing to tread the path taken by EU and ASEAN for market-opening trade pacts with India, the US has said it is not ready for a free trade deal with the world's second-fastest growing economy as it cannot fully open agricultural imports from American farmers.
Mobile phone operator Grameenphone Ltd has introduced two new tariff packages for its prepaid smile and djuice subscribers, says a press release.
HSBC has been named the world's most valuable banking brand, according to an annual index of 500 leading global banks.
Negotiators are starting to make trade-offs between agriculture and industrial goods in the long-running Doha round as they grope towards a deal to open up world trade this year, diplomats said Thursday.
China urged the US on Thursday to deal with its companies fairly after a proposed telecom takeover involving a Chinese enterprise was blocked due to apparent US national security concerns.
A key forward-looking US economic gauge posted a decline in January for a fourth straight month suggesting "weak growth" ahead for the world's largest economy, the Conference Board said Thursday.
World oil prices were trading below 100 dollars in Asian trade Friday after a stronger-than-expected rise in US crude-oil reserves calmed supply jitters, dealers said.
Twelve small Norwegian companies, including first division football club Fredrikstad, have received an ultimatum to ensure boardroom gender equality or shut down, Norwegian authorities said on Friday.
South Africa and India agreed to allow businessmen travelling between the two countries multiple entry visas, as part of several agreements signed in Pretoria on Friday.
February 17-February 20, 2008
Local FX Market
Local inter-bank FX market liquidity improved slightly during the week; however the BDT remained almost unchanged against the USD.
Speakers at a roundtable yesterday urged the caretaker government to carry out only those activities which are necessary for establishing democracy.
Speakers at a seminar yesterday called on the media to report carefully on bird flu so that vested groups cannot take business advantage of the crisis, which affected the poultry sector severely.
Agriculture and Water Resources Adviser CS Karim yesterday said all would have to extend social cooperation to save the country's poultry industry, hit badly by avian influenza.
At least eight people were killed and 13 others injured in separate road accidents in Mymensingh, Jhenidah, Lalmonirhat, Gopalganj and Sirajganj yesterday and on Thursday.
President Iajuddin Ahmed and Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed have greeted their counterparts of Brunei Darussalam on the occasion of the National Day of Brunei today.
Authorities will reopen the dormitories of Dhaka Polytechnic Institute for the students today after 11-days of vacation.
A Titas Gas pipeline caught fire in the city's Sayedabad area last night, causing disruption to gas supply in the area for about two hours.
A total of 63 posts, out of 87 of Barisal Roads and Highways ferry division, have been lying vacant since long hampering ferry service in the region.
Ninety-one eminent personalities, including poets, litterateurs, journalists and educationists, yesterday urged the caretaker government to take necessary measures immediately to preserve the historic Chameri House, presently called 'Chameli House'.
Chehlum of Begum Tayeba Majumder, mother of BNP chairperson and former prime minister Khaleda Zia, was held at her Balubari residence in the town yesterday.
Interpol Secretary General Ronald K Noble will arrive in Dhaka on February 29 on a one-day visit.
The 26th edition of the BBC Bangladesh Sanglap will be held at Hard Point in Sirajganj today.
A young man was killed and at least 10 others were injured in a fierce clash over trifles between two groups of people at Rajnagar village in Raipura upazila yesterday evening.
The final rounds of recitation and music competition for children were held on the 22nd day of 'Amar Ekushey Book Fair' at the Bangla Academy in the city yesterday morning.
Civil society members yesterday called on the caretaker government to construct multipurpose shelters in the natural disaster-prone coastal areas so that they can be utilised for the local people throughout the year.
Lutfar Rahman, a former Awami League lawmaker and one of the organisers of the Liberation War, passed away at LabAid Hospital in Dhaka early yesterday at the age of 81.
Ruhul Amin Biswas, a first-year honours student of Islamic history at Government Devendra College in Manikganj, is a kidney patient.
Political empowerment would not be effective without economic empowerment, said the leaders and activists of the Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) at a workshop yesterday.
Dogged by internal feud, Sylhet district BNP is now facing another split as some bigwigs in the committee led by once Saifur loyalist MA Haque have broken ranks with the BNP stalwart.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in Pabna has started inquiry about six corruption suspects including two former lawmakers and two incumbent municipality chairmen.
Civil society leaders in Khagra-chhari yesterday said the present score-based promotion system, retained in the draft of Bangladesh Police Ordinance, 2007, should be changed.
Freedom fighters of sectors 3, 4 and 5 have arranged a daylong reunion at Sylhet Government Alia Madrasa ground today to press the demand for trial of the war criminals.
A grenade was found at Chow-dhuripara under Ramgarh upazila in hill district Khagrachhari on Thursday.
BJMC chairman Ataharul Islam has said state-owned Alim Jute Mill would go into full production from March 1.
Father of a slain schoolboy, at a press conference held at Patuakhali Press Club Thursday night, has demanded exemplary punishment to killers.
Speakers at a meeting held here yesterday stressed the need for ensuring rights of Harijans.
Body of one of three fishermen who were drowned while fishing in the Bay of Bengal on Wednesday was recovered yesterday.
Britain and France formally introduced a Security Council resolution Thursday calling for a third round of sanctions against Iran over its failure to suspend uranium enrichment.
In a strategy some Western diplomats admit could badly backfire, the Bush administration has made clear it wishes to continue to support President Pervez Musharraf even after the defeat of his allies in Monday's election, according to a report by The Independent on Thursday.
After two decades of bickering and ousting each other, the parties of Pakistan's slain opposition leader Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif now face a struggle to work together in their newly-formed coalition, analysts say.
At least eight civilians died in an air attack in northern Sri Lanka yesterday, Tamil Tiger rebels said after the military announced an escalation of strikes against the rebels.
Russia on Friday blamed supporters of Kosovo's independence for triggering embassy attacks in Belgrade and warned Nato and the European Union against setting a precedent for "brute force" in Kosovo.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz's (PML-N) central executive committee (CEC) pledged on Thursday the party would not become part of a coalition government that might compromise on the sacked judges' restoration issue.
Myanmar's generals have agreed to meet the UN special envoy next month to discuss their 'road map to democracy', which bars opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from elections.
British government officials expressed embarrassment and anger at Washington last night after they were forced to admit that US rendition flights carrying terror suspects for secret interrogation had twice landed on British soil.
A special UN-backed court for Sierre Leone yesterday confirmed jail terms of up to 50 years for three feared rebel leaders found guilty of crimes against humanity during the country's civil war.
In his first comments since announcing he would step down as Cuba's president after almost 50 years, Fidel Castro lashed out yesterday at US presidential hopefuls' calls for change here, saying the only change needed is in the United States.
Tens of thousands of opposition supporters demonstrated in Armenia's capital Yerevan for a third day yesterday vowing to keep protesting until the results of a presidential election are overturned.
About 10,000 Israelis gathered in Sderot yesterday to do their shopping in an act of solidarity with the southern town that is regularly targeted by rocket and mortar fire from Gaza, organisers said.
Every evening as dusk falls on the India-Pakistan border post near Lahore, crowds gather on either side of the frontier and scream slogans at each other in a choreographed show of bravado.
President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, on closing the GLOBE forum on climate change yesterday, called on the Group of Eight (G8) developed nations to meet greenhouse-gas reduction targets set out in the Kyoto Protocol.
India has begun rolling out mandatory minimum wage requirements for housemaids working in the Gulf and parts of Africa and Southeast Asia, a minister said yesterday.
An Indian state yesterday ordered cinema halls not to screen a controversial film featuring Bollywood's most glamorous star Aishwarya Rai after violent demonstrations.
Some 34,000 Thai heart disease sufferers may lose access to cheap drugs because the government has halted imports of the medicine pending a review of its generics programme, an activist said yesterday.
French police plan to question President Nicolas Sarkozy's ex-wife Cecilia over allegations that he sent her a text message offering to call off his marriage if she took him back, a judicial source said yesterday.
China hopes to launch its second moon-orbiting satellite in 2009, state media reported yesterday, as the country steps up its space programme.
The confirmed number of people drowned when a ferry sank on Brazil's Amazon River rose to 14 yesterday with the recovery of three more bodies, a rescue commander told the state Agencia Brasil news agency.
Arts & Entertainment
TO observe 'Amar Ekushey', cultural organisation Padatik Natya Sangsad-Bangladesh organised a daylong programme at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy premises on February 21. Titled “Doshom Padatik Ekushey Shangskritik Shammelon” the event was divided into three sessions.
Swiss poet-playwright Tobias Biancone was appointed as the Secretary General of ITI Worldwide Committee on last February 1. He is also the founder of the Playwrights' Forum, ITI. Plays by him such as The Spy, The Half Truth, Exhibition Opera (Derunter Mensch) and others have all been well received in Europe. This year a collection of his poems will be published in Bangla. Biancone is participating at the ITI Theatre Festival '08 in Dhaka. This is Biancone's third visit to Dhaka. The Daily Star recently spoke with the playwright.
To mark the International Mother Language day, Chhayanat arranged a musical soiree at its Sanskriti Bhaban Auditorium on February 21. At the programme, artistes of Chhayanat presented songs on our language, martyrs of the Language Movement and devotion to the country.
Cultural organisation Karok Natya Shamproday (KNS), arranged a handwriting competition for children at the Central Shaheed Minar premises yesterday, as part of their 'Amar Ekushey' programme.
The weeklong “Ekushey Boi Mela” organised by the Sammilito Sanskritik Jote, Pabna at the local Town Hall premises was inaugurated by Mili Rahman, the widow of Birsreshtha Matiur Rahman and the Chairperson of Matiur Rahman Smriti Foundation, on February 21.
To mark the International Mother Language Day, Nazrul Institute arranged a three-day competition on children's handwriting and Nazrul songs, starting from February 19. As part of the event, discussion and a cultural programme were also held at the Institute. Winners of the competitions received prizes at the programme.
Cynics say that in Bangladesh, the sensible position is pessimism. In such a background it is not surprising to see our voluble elite quite often wishing or predicting a worst case scenario. Many amongst us have a mindset that expects deterioration in everything. Still others would say that at best status quo ante will prevail.
Under pressure from activists -- and to help win over female voters -- successive governments in the past tried to enforce laws to protect women. In 1995 as the acid attacks spiralled, the Parliament passed the Women and Child Repression Control Act, stipulating death sentence as maximum penalty for such assaults. Sadly true, laws are enacted in the Parliament but never enforced in the houses and streets of the country. In the meantime the plight of the women in the country has gone appallingly bad. With the Chief Adviser making a disclosure in the 11th national conference 2008 of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad on January 17 last in the city that the government would announce a women development policy soon to ensure gender equality in society (The Daily Star, Jan 18), there is a flicker of hope again in the air.
Every year, the Rabidas community across the sub-continent celebrate anniversary of birth of their spiritual leader Guru Rabidasji for days together on the occasion of full moon in the month of Magh (this year coinciding February 20-22). Guru Rabidasji was born on this holy full moon of Magh 631 years ago to the cobbler couple Raghuram and Raghurani in Gobardhanpur village of Kashi city in Uttar Pradesh state of India.
The unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo possibly ends speculation but the rise in tension in the Balkans. Both Serbia and Russia opposed the declaration while the United States, Great Britain, France and Germany recognized the newly emerged sovereign and independent Kosovo. Balkan countries such as Romania and Bulgaria have not recognised Kosovo. Neither has China. Possibly Slovakia and Cyprus will also not follow the foot print of big countries in recognising Kosovo. Spain has expressed reservation to recognition to 'separatist group'. Spain has been facing similar situation for a long time from its ETA separatist population whose aims has been to win Basque as their homeland and freedom from Spain. This movement began in 1959.
Infants primarily respond to their surroundings by their own gesture and then gradually learn the language to develop physical and mental growth. This language is known as mother tongue, which has a great impact on personal, social and national activities.
The five-day long mega ICT exposition of the country, BASIS SoftExpo 2008, ended on Feb 18 with the view that there is no alternative to ICT.
Technology giant IBM (International Business Machines) has showed its keen interest to discover the untapped potential in Bangladesh. Muhammad Hussain, vice president, Global Business Development, IBM Corporation USA revealed IBM's interest at a seminar organised by North South University (NSU) on February 17.
AsusTeK Computer Inc. (Asus), a leading provider of high-performance notebook computers, recently unveiled the F3J series notebook in the Bangladesh market.
Hewlett Packard (HP), global leader in printing technology, has started the countrywide 'Science behind Brilliant Printing' campaign.
Once political workers and those who struggled for freedom began to be captured after the first language movement of 1948, things continued pretty much the same way till 1971. Once they put you away, there was no letting you out. Only when big pushes were applied did prison doors open. Like, for example, the big push of 21st February 1952, the push generated by the Jugto Front win of the general elections of '54, the NDF of '62, the shove of the 11 points of '69. And then at the beginning of the fight for freedom in 1971 many jail roads became wide city boulevards. During those first days time hung especially heavy. All those who were inside jails would think the whole earth was desolate. When would they awaken and rise, our students? Noakhali's peasant leader Momtaz Miah was a village chairman, got hauled into prison on one of the very first sweeps. He would say, “Get the boat on dry land, sailorman, now the tide's at ebb. When the tide's in, it'll lift the boar clear, it'll be that kind of a tide.
(The very first poem on Ekushey - titled 'We Are Here Not To Weep' - is generally thought to have been written by Mahbub-ul-Alam Chowdhury. It was written on that very day, in Chittagong, at 7:00 p.m. - most probably as news of the police killings filtered through to the port city over the wires in that far less communicable time. For quite some time only fragments of the poem survived, and it was only later that the whole poem was found, and subsequently translated by Professor Kabir Chowdhury. While today it may sound very dated - it is impossible to think that such a poem would be written now even if the oppression and the killings were to take place on our streets at present - readers should remember that it is very much a poem written in the heat of the moment, in pure anger and indignation, with multiple references to demands for revenge and hanging of the murderers, as well as reflecting the university culture of that time, with its references to Aragon and Einstein. It was a far more innocent time.)
“The vine is weighed down
with pumpkin blossoms,
BANGLADESH has no option but democracy and democracy has no other option but the general election. Why then the election, which was about to be held on January 22, 2007, was denied to the people for two long years? Why did the people let out a sigh of relief when the designed election was stopped only ten days before the due date? It was a disaster aborted.
LEBANON is suffering from domestic political instability. At first it seems that this instability is a result of one side of the conflict, but in reality this conflict situation is related to the positions of the two sides, the Sinioran government and the opposition headed by Hezbollah. According to the constitution, the current government needs the support of two thirds of the members of Parliament plus one in order to form a new government. The Sinioran coalition and its associates, mainly Jared Eldan El Hariri, realized that they could not convince two-thirds of the 124 members of Parliament since they are trying to go against the constitution by forming a coalition led by Hezbollah who currently are only 52 members of Parliament. This effectively denies any chance of changing the constitution. However, as a compromise, Hezbollah has agreed to appoint Chief of Staff General Mechel Suliman as the new president and an agreed upon government of national unity with 10 ministers from Hezbollah, 10 ministers from the Sinioran faction and 10 ministers who would be appointed by the new president. The Sinioran government wants to exclude Hezbollah and its Christian ally led by General Michel On. Hezbollah's position is very solid in its rejection of any initiative that supports the Sinioran hegemony over Lebanon.
THE election on 18th February is being widely seen as make or break for Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf. Since 1999 he was able to manipulate the political events in Pakistan and became the main ally of the US on war on terror.
The Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN) has commissioned the first of three KSS-2 (Type 214) submarines in a closed ceremony at Chinhae naval base.
NEW DELHI - French companies Eurocopter and Mach Aero have agreed to establish a manufacturing unit in India. The memorandum of agreement signed by the two firms here Feb. 18 during Defexpo, the biennial defense show, primarily aims at Eurocopter helping Mach Aero to establish its manufacturing presence in the country, a senior Eurocopter executive said.
Star Books Review
It was a quixotic, wrenching break-up of a country that Mountbatten and Cyril Radcliffe brought about in August 1947. There is little question that the last colonial viceroy was a man in a hurry, guided more by thoughts of his place in history than in the inevitability of the partition of India. And Radcliffe, having never before set foot in the subcontinent, found it convenient to be ensconced in a room and slice through regions in the Punjab and Bengal he thought should fall to India or Pakistan, as the case might be. The results were horrendous. Villages were ruptured and even homes lay in pieces, with part in one country and part in another. Just how uncertain and fraught with risks independence would turn out to be was made palpable in August when the Chakmas of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, happy in the belief that they were not to be part of Muslim Pakistan, hoisted the Indian tricolour. They would be in for a rude shock. Only hours later, they would find themselves herded into Pakistan. Their sufferings had only begun.
Sangshaptak is a challenging and illuminating work by Shahidullah Kaiser, a writer of deep social and political commitment. A Communist Party worker from his student days and an activist in the 1952 language movement as well as the 1971 war of liberation, Kaiser was born on 16 February 1927.
No one, except a cadet going off to join an alien institution, understands how it feels like going away at a very tender age. No one can imagine what a 12-year-old boy has to go through when he is sent off to a cadet college. No one but a cadet will understand what sort of man he becomes when he experiences all trials and tribulations, happiness and blues when he passes out of a cadet college to face life's real battles. No one, other than he himself, will understand the relationship with his comrades, who are products of the same cadet college.
Becoming a literary masterpiece is not this book's professed goals. This is supposed to be precisely what it claims to be: a diary written in a particular circumstance. But like all other good, clear and sincere writing, it transcends the mundane. In the process it turns itself into a compelling read, claiming the attention of anyone interested in knowing about a series of events that shook the nation beginning August 2007. This is a unique glimpse of a sensitive and unbending intellect looking at events from his own perspective, a perspective you can disagree with but cannot ignore.
Essays On Environment
Jafar Ahmed Chowdhury
A good collection of essays is here from one who has been seriously involved with the issue. The writer has long been a government official, which position has enabled him to come in contact with matters that have particularly concerned Bangladesh. There is a good chance the reader will find the essays stimulating. Some of the frills could have been avoided, though.